Low rainfall levels, agricultural use causing aquifer levels to drop
San Antonio has received less than 40 percent of normal rainfall since June 2020, and aquifer levels have reflected the shortage. Now with agricultural water use increasing with spring crops, the Edwards Aquifer 10-day average has dropped to 649.9 feet, triggering Stage 2 watering rules.
Per city ordinance, City Manager Erik Walsh in consultation with Robert R. Puente, President/CEO of San Antonio Water System (SAWS), declared Stage 2 rules are in effect as of Tuesday April 20, 2021.
Stage 2 of the city’s drought management plan occurs when the 10-day average of the Edwards Aquifer at the J-17 monitoring well drops to 650 feet or below. According to the city’s Aquifer Management Plan ordinance, coming out of drought stages can be considered 15 days after the aquifer is above the trigger.
“Although SAWS has plenty of water to meet customer demand coming from water projects such as the Vista Ridge Pipeline project, our desalination plant and various others, city ordinance requires SAWS to enter Stage 2 watering rules when the Edwards Aquifer level is triggered,” Puente said. “We have worked hard to diversify our water sources to ensure that San Antonio is water secure for generations. As a reminder, Stage 2 watering rules are primarily focused on moderating business and residential landscape watering.”
Watering days stay the same in Stage 2 as in Stage 1, however the hours during which watering is allowed are shortened. Watering with a sprinkler, irrigation system or soaker hose is allowed only between 7-11 a.m. and 7-11 p.m. on your designated day. Watering with a hand-held hose is still allowed any time on any day.
Watering days are determined by the last number of your address:
No watering on the weekends
If you observe water waste, the best way to report it is online. Customers can also call SAWS Conservation at 210-704-SAVE (210-704-7283). Please provide as much information as possible, including location, time of day, a brief description of the problem, and how long it has been occurring.